December 9, 2005

A ceremony of signing of an agreement of cooperation between UNDP and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation

An agreement of cooperation and a project document signed between UNDP and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on providing access to information and communication technologies for blind and visually impaired people, December 9.

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva made a speech in the ceremony.

Speech by Mehriban Aliyeva

- Dear Mr Borsotti!

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Today very important agreement was signed between Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNDP. The project ensuring access of blind and visually impaired people in our country to information and communication technologies is already in the beginning of implementation.

320,000 invalids live in Azerbaijan. 40,000 of them are blind and visually impaired. The project will return these people back to the life, widen their possibilities to receive knowledge and information through information communications, lift their employment, in general, improve lifestyle of these people. This agreement is the first cornerstone of cooperation between Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNDP. From the first day of its establishment Heydar Aliyev Foundation pays very big care and attention to the weakest sections of the society. Our activity that is open to all proves this. Programs such as 'Highest care to diabetes-affected children', Life without thalassemia', New school to new Azerbaijan', 'Development of children homes and boarding schools' were implemented within a short time, due to which thousands of people were helped, care about orphan children lifted, important social problems settled. Just because of this activity Heydar Aliyev Foundation possesses a great sympathy in Azerbaijan and plays significant role in public life of the country.

Today Heydar Aliyev Foundation appears in international arena, commences to the common activity with UN, the most prestigious organization in the world. I am sure the project we are starting today will result in very big success, the gained experience will assist to the new strategy developed for enlarging the opportunities of blind and visually impaired people.

Lastly, I express my deep gratitude to all the people involved in the project, employees of the Foundation, UNDP and personally to Mr Borsotti. Thanks a lot.